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The work of chiropractic regulatory agencies is both vital and challenging. This directory is designed to assist you with your communications with the licensing boards. Please see the FCLB website at www.fclb.org for monthly updates to the Official Directory and direct links to member chiropractic licensing boards.

There are many important questions you need to ask as you embark on your chiropractic career. You should not wait until you are applying for licensure to contact licensing boards - do it before you enroll in a chiropractic college. Some of these question are listed below:

1.   What type of chiropractic do you want to practice?
For example, some boards allow doctors to work with sports injuries on the extremities, while others believe chiropractic adjustments should be confined to the spine. It is important that you find both a school and jurisdiction which have a scope of practice similar to your own philosophy. Read an excerpt from Outlook on Chiropractic.

2.   Can you practice that philosophy in the state or province you select?
Look in the jurisdiction’s page under the Scope of Practice header to help you answer this question. Contact the boards you are most interested in being licensed under to review the full scope of practice. Review the Official Directory and the jurisdictional thumbnail sketch of its scope of practice in the particular jurisdiction. It is important that you contact the jurisdiction before making your final decision to enroll in a particular school.

Most defined scopes of practice include (1) primary patient contact or care; (2) right and duty to perform a diagnosis; (3) right to use spinal manipulation and a range of other manual and physical therapeutics; and (4) restrictions on prescription drugs or surgery. The jurisdiction's scope may appear in statutes, regulations, and practice standards.

3.   Are graduates from your prospective college allowed to be licensed in the state(s) or province(s) in which you wish to practice?
Licensing boards require that graduates receive their Doctor of Chiropractic degree from an accredited chiropractic college. Utilize CCE (Council on Chiropractic Education) for additional information on colleges and accreditation. The professional accrediting agency for chiropractic colleges is the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education (COA-CCE). The COA is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Foreign students with either pre-chiropractic education or chiropractic degrees earned outside the U.S. should contact the jurisdiction in which they plan to practice to confirm eligibility for licensure.

4.   Do I require a Bachelor's Degree prior to entry into chiropractic college?
An increasing number of boards are requiring or considering the B.A. requirement prior to licensure. Check for the Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the licensure jurisdiction.

Read an excerpt from "The Chiropractic Profession."

See the Bachelor’s Degree chart for more information.

5.   Which school is the best?
There is not a list of rankings of chiropractic colleges.
All accredited colleges have merit and as a prospective student you should decide what school is the very best for you.

Students often want to measure a school by its performance on standardized testing. However, it is important to note that schools are prohibited from releasing the results of their students' scores on US National Board exams. If the results were released, it may result in unfair marketing based on a particular year's success, and not be representative of the overall performance of the school.


The Federation recommends that students visit their top three schools of choice—in person. The investment made will be very modest compared to your tuition for the full educational period. Where you fit best, factoring in climate, educational and practice philosophies, size, average age of the student body and other considerations, is the best predictor of your personal success as a practicing doctor.

See the college contact pages in this reference section.

  • Take the proper courses and examinations
    Early in your chiropractic college career, you need to be aware of the exams required by the jurisdictions in which you wish to practice. These tests may be much easier to take and pass while you are still in school, because you are accustomed to the testing environment and much of the academic knowledge is fresh in your mind.  
  • Consider also some future practice scenarios 
    This can occur in many testing areas, but often happens with optional subjects. For example, perhaps you are enrolled in a school where the practice of physiotherapy is optional, and you are planning to go into a partnership in a jurisdiction where chiropractic physiotherapy is required or is a "must" in your new clinic. If you have taken the proper optional course work and examinations, you have more choices open to you in the future. It is often logistically difficult or impractical to go back later for additional classes or testing.  
  • Philosophy of Chiropractic
    Give careful consideration to your own philosophy of chiropractic, and that of the boards which may regulate your future career opportunities. Take the courses and sit for the exams which give you flexibility now, and even in retirement years. Use the FCLB Official Directory to assist your decision-making process.   
  • Application for licensure
    Use of our Directory is a must to be certain you apply well in advance of the deadlines. Call or write to the boards you wish to sit for a year ahead of time to review their requirements. Plan ahead financially for application and exam fees as well as your initial license. Note the application deadlines (deadlines vary from almost three months to 15 days) and be early. Finally, know who to contact - both staff members and directors. It reduces anxiety of the process. The right impression is given by an organized, relaxed candidate—and you'll feel more confident during your exams. 

As a result of new professional opportunities or when approaching semi-retirement, you may face the issue of relocating. Some boards have specific statutory requirements while others handle license endorsement or reciprocity on an individual basis. Use the FCLB Official Directory to identify these requirements (titled "Conditions for Reciprocity/Endorsement"), and to find out who to contact. At conferences and meetings, get to know the members of the boards for your current jurisdiction(s) and those in which you might eventually wish to practice.

Many US states accept or require National Board of Chiropractic Examiners credentials, including the Part III examination (sometimes referred to as Written Clinical Competency Exam or WCCE), the Special Examination for Chiropractic (SPEC), and/or the Part IV Practical Examination. Be aware of these requirements, and plan to sit for the exams well in advance of when you may need them. Leave time for retakes. In most cases, your scores should be valid indefinitely. Finally, be certain the legal scope of practice is compatible with your own philosophy of chiropractic.

Reciprocity vs. Endorsement

To our knowledge, no boards actually offer reciprocity. That term is an old one that refers to "you give people from our jurisdiction licenses and we will give people from your jurisdiction licenses.” The laws sometimes still refer to reciprocity, but they usually mean endorsement. This term refers to acknowledging that the license criteria in one jurisdiction are substantially similar to the criteria in another. Therefore, a board where the applicant wants a second license may waive some of the requirements which may have already been met by the original license process. The new board may also require additional examinations such as the SPEC exam or a jurisprudence exam or other criteria to satisfy additional requirements of their jurisdiction not addressed by the original board.

  • The best way to deal with this is to ask yourself:
    • "What are the criteria of the jurisdiction where I currently hold my license(s)?”
    • “How do these compare with the criteria of the jurisdictions where I want a new license?"
  • Look at requirements like National Board exams, pre-professional education, accreditation of schools, continuing education requirements, and scope of practice areas like physiotherapy, OB/GYN, etc. 


Specialty Council Certification
Some boards regulate the use of specialty certification through their advertising regulations. It is illegal in certain jurisdictions to hold oneself out to be "superior" to another general doctor. Other boards recognize only certain Councils and allow advertising to be used for those alone.

There are many "Specialty Councils." Some represent many people in mainstream chiropractic. Others represent only a small group.

At this time, the generally recognized Councils fall under the jurisdiction of the two national professional associations,
American Chiropractic Association and International Chiropractors Association. Please contact the ACA and ICA directly.

In the future, it is planned that separate accrediting-type processes may be imposed by an outside body to determine whether Councils adhere to proper standards required by federal regulations, state laws, and the chiropractic profession.

Diplomate vs. Board Qualified
A diplomate is a doctor who has taken all the extensive extra education in a special area and passed rigorous examinations. Board qualified means the education is complete, but not the final examinations. Both of these terms show a doctor who has invested significant extra time, after graduation, to secure additional expertise in a specific area of interest or talent. A chiropractor may use the term “diplomate” if he or she has achieved this additional status in a specialty program which awards such recognition. Some boards prohibit public advertising of specialty status as there is currently no outside accreditation of specialty programs.

The term “Diplomate” should NOT be used to describe successful completion of National Board exams Parts I and II, unless the date of completion was prior to 1983, “holds a Certificate of Attainment from the NBCE for Parts I and II of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners” is the proper phrasing. No certificate is issued for successful completion of Parts III, IV, and/or SPEC. A score report is available for these tests. For additional specific information on descriptive phrasing for NBCE exams, please contact the NBCE directly.


For a brief summary of the legal scope of practice, refer to these sections in the directory. However, please do not make a determination not to fund a particular insurance claim because that specific procedure is not listed here. Do contact the licensing board office directly. They can answer your questions and can also provide you with a comprehensive description of the legal scope of practice. This directory should serve as a helpful tool in formulating a general concept of what can be done legally by doctors, but do plan to address specific questions to the board offices.

Please contact our office regarding querying CIN-BAD (Chiropractic Information Network - Board Action Databank) to help with credentialing chiropractors. CIN-BAD will help you accomplish your NCQA Standards. See our Web site at
www.fclb.org for more information on how we can help your health care organization.


Use this directory to see at a glance how your fees, scope of practice, and educational/testing requirements compare with other chiropractic regulatory boards. See how other boards handle reciprocity. Get the most up-to-date information available about other board members' names, addresses and terms of service. 


Please remember that fax numbers, where available, are provided to ease your communication with licensing boards and other organizations. Do not expect to send official documents such as applications, name changes or other vital, legal items via FAX. They need your original signatures, photos and notary seals. Plan enough time to mail the original documents - in some cases, the deadlines are to receive your items, not for postmark. Be early - don't ask electronic media to rescue a late application.

Finally, from all of the members of the Federation, thank you for purchasing this book. Your contribution helps us continue the important mission of excellence in chiropractic licensure standards.